Family members of Hall of Fame baseball player Cal Ripken Jr. are breathing sighs of relief, after his 74-year-old mother survived the most traumatic experience of her life.
Violet Roberta Ripken was abducted at gun point from her home in Aberdeen, Maryland between the hours of 7 and 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.
According to the Washington Post, "Baltimore County police reported [her] missing around 8:15 p.m. [Tuesday night], and issued a media alert about an hour before she was found [unharmed] Wednesday morning."
Please find the latest updates on this case at the end of the column.
Mrs. Ripken was found safe in her car at 6:35 a.m. Wednesday in Harford County, a few miles from her house. "After being examined by medical personnel, she was resting with her family," police said.
Mrs. Ripken spoke with law enforcement officials who are investigating the case. According to the Post:
Police are seeking a white man in his late 30s-to-early 40s who was last seen wearing a light-colored shirt, camouflage pants and glasses. The FBI, the Harford County Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police and Baltimore County police are investigating the abduction.
“As you now know, our mother was abducted at gunpoint from her home yesterday morning,” the statement says. “This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy.
More information is pending, but police are asking anyone with information on the crime to contact them.
In the meantime, Mrs. Ripken's children will do all that they can to console their mom. Vi, as she likes to be called, is the mother of Cal, Billy, Fred and Elly. She is also the widow of the late Cal Ripken, Sr.
“We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly," said Cal in the family statement. "This is an ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time. Thank you.”
Violet Ripken was reportedly tied up with duct tape by her attacker, who proceeded to drive her car to numerous places in Maryland. She was then discovered by a passerby, who became suspicious and called police.
According to WBAL radio, sources said that "a resident in the [White Marsh Mall] neighborhood where the car was spotted, saw a woman tied up in the backseat of a car."
The man at the wheel of the vehicle told the citizen that his mother was having a seizure and that he was taking her to the hospital. The person who spotted the car called police, [but] by the time officers arrived, the car was gone.
Investigators then ran the tag number that was given to them by the witness and learned that the car belonged to Mrs. Ripken. She was then found Wednesday morning, back near her home in Aberdeen.
According to WBAL, the suspect used Ripken's credit cards during the abduction. The station's sources have also claimed that Ripken was "still tied up and blindfolded [when she was found]. Police are not confirming that."